Hillebrity | Natalie A. Martínez

 Natalie A. Martínez – Writer

IMG_3933Where do you like to write on and off the Hill?

I like being surrounded by people, objects. White noise and chaos. The smell of coffee and warmth. But I also need a view. A window. I have a few favorite spots in the city. Arabica. Cintli because it feels like I’m in the desert again. The historical Panama Tea House and Hotel in the International District. My room and desk that faces out onto Washington Hall and The Juvenile Detention Center. I love knowing that W.E.B DuBois and Billie Holiday performed there. The Detention Center reminds me of why I teach and write: ongoing injustice.

Place is extremely important to me, because I believe we reactivate spaces’ and their memories. Even objects accumulate resonance. Traffic. Wear and tear. Our affections. Like a coffee cup. Or a table. Or the graffiti marks on cafe window. A storefront’s broken door lock.We have relationships to places because they have memories. And those memories are larger parts of our imaginations. Something incredibly important to a writer. Any artist really. Maybe not everyone thinks about this consciously when they pick a space to work in or write from, but I do. My close friend Henry Quintero once told me I should learn to write uncomfortably. In the most literal sense. Write standing up. On a toilet. Anywhere. He’s probably right. Then you’d feel like you can produce writing under any condition. But, I’m not there yet.

Natalie A. Martínez will be reading with Molly Mac, Jed Murr, Kort Havens, and Brandon Herrell in “reiterations: an intertextual event” at Arabica Lounge at 7pm, March 1st.

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